Saturday, 24 June 2017

QuiltNSW - Sydney Quilt Show - I'm a winner!

Wow!! What a crazy few days that was!

Many of you know that I entered my la passacaglia into the QuiltNSW Sydney Quilt Show in Australia.  I was there for the prize giving on Thursday and was totally stunned when I won the top amateur prize!!

Yes, I won the Bernina Amateur Encouragement Award and the prize is a Bernina 215, very kindly donated by Bernina Australia.

Bernina Australia are lovely and they are sending a machine to Nancy's Stitch Studio in Wellington for me to collect.  I didn't want to have to try and bring it home on the plane yesterday.

I also won a Judges Commendation in my category - Pieced Quilt and Hand Quilted (Amateur). That's the blue ribbon pinned on my quilt.

So it was an amazing day which seemed to just fly by after the prize giving.  The congratulations kept flying in on Instagram and Facebook.  If I haven't replied to you personally, please accept my thanks now.

I met so many people who follow my blog, facebook or Instagram at the show! Thank you all for coming up and saying hello.  My friends were laughing that every 10 minutes or so someone would say, "Are you Wendy? You don't know me, but I follow your blog."

The first kind lady approached me on the first morning at 8.55am before the doors even opened to go in, and it continued until I was walking to the exit at 4.30pm closing on my last day.  You're all so kind and it was lovely to meet you all.  Thank you for reading my blog and being interested in what I make. I don't do selfies, but if I did I could post at least 30 selfies here with blog followers I met at the show.

So now my quilt is showing on the QuiltNSW page of winners.  What an honour.  You can click here to see more winning quilts from the show, and I'll post some of my favourites in a separate blog post soon.

If you'd like to know more about how I made my la passacaglia quilt, you kind find all my previous blog post on the tab at the top of the page, or by clicking here.

Final advice:

This success is a story in not giving up. Many of you have told me my quilt is beautiful and it has inspired you to start making your own la passacaglia.  I've also been told many times that I must enter it into a show and let other people see it in real life.

My own guild (Capital Quilters) hasn't had a show since I joined because the hall we would use has been demolished and is being rebuilt due to earthquake risks.

Our national show - Quilt Symposium - is only held every two years, but they require all quilts to be original designs, so I couldn't enter la passacaglia in that show because it's from a pattern by Willyne Hammerstein.

Last year I applied to have my quilt included in the Quiltmania exhibition of 20 la passacaglia quilts at the Houston quilt show in 2016.  My quilt wasn't selected and I was naturally quite sad about that. I would have loved to have had my quilt at Houston, even though it would have been for exhibition only, and not judged.

So then I emailed the Auckland Quilt Guild to see if I could display it at the Auckland Festival of Quilts in November 2016, even though I'm not a member of that guild.  I said it could be for display only, and not judged.  But they came back and said they only allow entries from people who live north of Taupo - and unfortunately I don't.  That's fair enough, it's their guild and they make the rules.

Undeterred by two rejections, I joined QuiltNSW because they allow international memberships, and allow each member to enter two quilts into their show each year.  I'd seen photos from their show in previous years and knew their quilts were beautiful.  I just wanted my quilt to hang in a show and let other people see it in real life. So I joined QuiltNSW a year ago, and entered my first quilt show.  And look at the result!! I won the top amateur award.

So the moral of this story is, don't let a rejection put you off.  If you think your quilt should be in a show, keep trying until you find the right show for you.

Thank you to QuiltNSW and Bernina Australia.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Millefiori Quilts

This week I started something new.  It's Ballet avec Kaffe Fassett from Millefiori Quilts 2 by Willyne Hammerstein.  Yes, it's another epic English Paper Pieced quilt with a gazillion pieces to glue and stitch together.  Madness, I know.  But it's going to look fantastic (I hope).

When I found out that Willyne Hammerstein is releasing a third Millefiori Quilts book in September, I thought I needed to get a move on and use the paper pieces and acrylics I had bought for Ballet with Kaffe last year.  I tend to put these silly restrictions on myself about not starting something new until I've finished what I've already got.  I know most quilters don't abide by those rules, but somehow I feel compelled to keep my stash under control and finish what I've already purchased.

I've started a whole new tab to keep link all my posts about this quilt.  I know it's going to take months, or maybe even a whole year, to complete, and people who embark on this pattern in the future like to see how other people have approached it.

my inspiration fabric by Cotton + Steel

 You can see more photos about my approach for Ballet avec Kaffe Fassett here on the new tab.

I know many people have read my page about my la passacaglia quilt and found the information useful.  It's here if you're looking for information about la passacaglia.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tussie Mussie - a finished quilt top

Last weekend was our Queen's Birthday holiday weekend.  It wasn't the Queen's real birthday, but in New Zealand we always celebrate her birthday on the first Monday in June.  Unfortunately the weather was wet and cold, but that was a good excuse to stay inside and quilt!

I joined up the last few rows of my Kaffe Fassett Tussie Mussie quilt and now I have a finished quilt top. (I'd started this quilt back in February - you can see my first post about it here.)

I was going to use a big piece of Kaffe wide backing I bought for another quilt and didn't use, but when I realised this top was only 60" x 60" and the backing was much bigger than that, it seemed like a waste.  So instead I pieced a back out of some of my bigger remaining purple and green Kaffe pieces.  I'll show you the backing when the quilt is finished.

This pattern is from Kaffe's book Quilts in Italy.  I modified the size of the blocks because I had a 6" Bloc Loc HST ruler.  The Bloc Loc rulers are great for trimming HSTs neatly. You can read more about them here.  Lots of local quilt shops stock them.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Finishing takes so long....

Do you find that? You start new quilts with great gusto, and think they won't take long to make, but somehow when you get to the finishing stages you get distracted by new ideas, and the pile of unfinished quilts gets bigger and bigger.

I've accepted that April and May just have to be my finishing months this year.  This year I've entered three different shows!! Yes, from never having entered a show to entering three in one year.  It's just the way it's worked out.

1. Capital Quilters 12 x 12 Exhibiton

We're having a 12 x 12 exhibition at Capital Quilters from 2-12 August this year, and I handed in my three entries on Saturday.  I can't show you them yet because the quilts are being judged and I have to keep my entries secret until then.

If you live in Wellington, or even further afield like Levin or Palmerston North, do come for a look.  It's fee entry and from the few I saw on Saturday there's going to be some great minis on display.  We already had over 30 entries on Saturday and the main hand in day isn't for another month yet.

2. Sydney Quilt Show - Quilt NSW

I'm a member of Quilt NSW in Australia (New South Wales).  It's a huge guild that welcomes overseas members too.  Their annual show will be held at the Sydney Convention Centre from June 22-25 and two of my quilts will be in the show! My la passacaglia and Oh! Christmas Tree will both on display.

I'm very excited because I'm going over to Sydney for the show and it will be the biggest quilt show I've ever been to.  I've made lots of online friends who live in Sydney, and it will be nice to meet them face to face.  I hear the stalls at the show are great too, so I better put my credit card on hold until then. I'll be there on Thursday and Friday if you're looking for me.

3.  Quilt Symposium Christchurch

Our national symposium is in October and entries close on 13 June.  I've been working furiously on two quilts for most of this year.  One is a secret and I won't post any photos until the exhibition in October, but the other is my Possum Magic quilt which everyone has seen throughout it's three year life.  There's one category for quilts totally made by one person (which I'm entering) and then another category for quilts made by more than one person.  Possum Magic will be in the second category because it's a group effort.  You can read more about the round robin I was in here.

My centre block that I made

I'm still hand quilting the final sections of the quilt, but I really hope to have it ready for photographing this coming weekend.  I'm using Aurifil 12wt and 28wt on this quilt.  I use the 12wt for all the visible decorative quilting, and 28wt for when I'm quilting in the ditch. The red spools are 12wt and the grey ones are 28wt.

I'm not aiming for prizes, but just having my quilts hanging in the show would be great.  It's a juried show, so not every quilt gets accepted.

I always use a hoop when I'm hand quilting.

So that's what I've been up to lately.  I'm really looking forward to starting something new once all these deadlines have passed.